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  1. July 20, 2017 vs. July 21, 2016 2017 One show seems to have seen a much larger increase in scores than another and the Blue Devils being off make it wise to approach July 20 scores with extreme caution when talking about relative position across the shows. However, there are a few things to highlight. Crossmen saw the largest score increase (3.600) with Pioneer also above the 3 point improvement mark (3.300). No scores decreased. Pioneer increased in the rankings by the most, going from #35 to #29. Guardians made its season debut in the #34 spot. In addition to the predicted storylines explained below, the tie between Colts and Troopers for the final movie theater broadcast spot of #15 should be noted. Last Night's Storylines: The corps currently ranked #10-#16 in World Class are all head-to-head tonight. Most notable is the first match-up of Mandarins and Madison Scouts. Who holds the edge in the race for the last finalist spot? Mandarins takes the first match-up by a margin of 0.850. Trivia question - when was the last time a new corps made finals for the first time in back to back years? Blue Knights and Phantom Regiment have traded 0.100 victories in their last two meetings. Who comes out on top tonight? Blue Knights made a statement with a 1.300 victory. Tonight's Storylines: Will the Top 5 reshuffle to its July 18 order with everyone in the same show on the same night? Can The Cavaliers use this opportunity to get itself more closely grouped to the top 4 so the discussion of potential medalists includes the corps? By score, Crossmen are ranked higher than Phantom Regiment, but Phantom Regiment has one each of the two head-to-head match-ups by more than 2 points. Is the ranking accurate or will there be a reset? 2016 Guardians debuted at #27. Blue Devils also took the night off last year, but their lead remained intact. The difference to this year speaks to how tightly packed the top few corps are in 2017. Santa Clara Vanguard had the greatest score improvement (2.000) with Seattle Cascades decreasing most (-0.900).
  2. July 19, 2017 vs. July 20, 2016 2017 There was one Open Class-only show at which scores jumped considerably. When this happens, there is typically a correction within a couple days. Louisiana Stars saw its score improve the most (4.800), but all corps went up by at least 1 point. Louisiana Stars gained 7 spots in the rankings as well, moving from #34 to #27. Heat Wave closed out its season with a 57.400 and a #33 ranking. Tonight's Storylines: The corps currently ranked #10-#16 in World Class are all head-to-head tonight. Most notable is the first match-up of Mandarins and Madison Scouts. Who holds the edge in the race for the last finalist spot? Blue Knights and Phantom Regiment have traded 0.100 victories in their last two meetings. Who comes out on top tonight? 2016 After not being in competition for nine days, Seattle Cascades made the biggest improvement (4.750) to move up four spots to #21 with Pioneer the only corps to decrease (-0.250).
  3. July 18, 2017 vs. July 19, 2016 2017 Blue Devils maintains its undefeated season with a 0.50 margin victory over Santa Clara Vanguard, the smallest gap in head-to-head competition between the two corps this season. Carolina Crown put up the biggest increase in score at 1.300, good for #3, with The Cadets decreasing most at -1.300, dropping the corps to #7 in the rankings. There is one show tonight featuring 6 Open Class corps including the season debut of Les Stentors and the final show for Heat Wave. 2016 Spirit of Atlanta increased in score by 2.450 and The Academy gained 3 spots in the rankings (#12 to #9) to lead the way. Pacific Crest decreased in score (-0.700).
  4. July 17, 2017 vs. July 18, 2016 2017 One show was rained out. The biggest score increase went to The Cadets (1.900) with Madison Scouts seeing the largest decrease (-2.150), which knocked them down to #13 in the rankings behind Mandarins. No corps moved more than 1 place in the rankings, but Santa Clara Vanguard takes the top spot heading into tonight's Tour of Champions show. Last night's storylines: Bluecoats and Blue Devils match up for the second time. Can Bluecoats narrow the 1.150 margin? Bluecoats gained ground on Blue Devils in head to head competition cutting the gap from 1.150 to 0.700. The last time Crossmen and Madison Scouts were head-to-head, Crossmen won by 2.075, but now Madison Scouts is scoring just 0.100 behind. Where will things be tonight? Crossmen led with its largest margin of the season at 2.500. Seattle Cascades and Genesis, currently ranked #22 and #23 respectively, match up for the first time tonight. Who comes out on top? Genesis won the matchup by 0.300. Tonight's storylines: There is just one show tonight, but it is one that everyone has been waiting for. Blue Devils and Santa Clara Vanguard were neck-and-neck during early season California shows but have not seen each other since Santa Clara Vanguard's surge. They match up for the first time since July 2. Blue Devils defeated Bluecoats in their two meetings, but the margin last night was only 0.300. Bluecoats and Santa Clara Vanguard have traded victories in two meetings. Bluecoats have won all meetings with Carolina Crown, but Carolina Crown has not yet faced Blue Devils or Santa Clara Vanguard. 2016 In Tour of Champions action, Blue Devils edged Bluecoats by a 0.100 margin. The Cadets displaced Santa Clara Vanguard in the top 4. The biggest point increase went to Pacific Crest, which also moved up from #20 to #17 in the rankings. Madison Scouts lost the most ground (-1.000).
  5. July 16, 2017 vs. July 17, 2016 2017 There was just one show last night and all 8 corps in competition improved in score by 1.10 or more. Incognito led the way with a 3.050 increase. Impulse gained the most ground in the rankings moving up 3 spots to #36. Last night's storylines: Three corps finish their seasons tonight (Blue Devils C, Golden Empire, Watchmen). Where will they max out? Blue Devils C scored 48.1, Watchmen a 58.6 and Golden Empire a 59.7. All 3 are higher than last year. Tonight's storylines: There are 4 shows tonight. Bluecoats and Blue Devils match up for the second time. Can Bluecoats narrow the 1.150 margin? The last time Crossmen and Madison Scouts were head-to-head, Crossmen won by 2.075, but now Madison Scouts is scoring just 0.100 behind. Where will things be tonight? Seattle Cascades and Genesis, currently ranked #22 and #23 respectively, match up for the first time tonight. Who comes out on top? Les Stentors makes its debut and Spartans return to the field for the first time since July 3. 2016 There was much more action last year including a Tournament of Champions show that had 8 of the top 9 corps (by definition of the previous high scores) in action. Blue Devils returned to competition for the first time in 5 days and led the circuit with a 3.050 point improvement, moving into the #1 spot in the first head-to-head matchup with Bluecoats.
  6. July 15, 2017 vs. July 16, 2016 2017 Gold returned to competition for the first time since July 2 with a huge 7.200 point increase moving the corps up 9 spots in the standings from #34 to #25. Music City continued its yo-yo scoring was a 3.100 improvement. Three corps went down in score, Seattle Cascades the most at -1.100. Oregon Crusaders lost the most ground in the rankings dropped 4 spots from #16 to #20. Last night's storylines: Bluecoats and Blue Devils are head to head for the first time this season. The last time the corps met, Bluecoats won their first world championship. Blue Devils enter the competition undefeated. The two corps have three common opponents this year (credit to ascendperformingarts.org) with both corps beating The Academy and Phantom Regiment in all matchups. Blue Devils are 4-0 over Santa Clara Vanguard while Bluecoats lost to Santa Clara Vanguard in one of their two matchups. Blue Devils won the match-up by a margin of 1.150. They'll be head to head again on 7/17 and then matched up with the rest of the Top 5 on 7/18. Prior to last night Carolina Crown had been beating Boston Crusaders by an average margin of 4.31. Last night, the margin was 1.95. Will Boston Crusaders close the gap even further? Carolina Crown opened the gap by 0.20 additional points. The Cavaliers have gradually increased its lead over The Cadets. The Cadets are head to head with Phantom Regiment for the first time this season with a 1.300 margin in the rankings. The two corps have a comparable record against common opponents. Is this a battle for the #7 or #8 spot? The Cadets won the match-up by a margin of 2.200, 0.900 more than their previous scores suggested. Troopers get into the mix with Oregon Crusaders, Pacific Crest, and Seattle Cascades for the first time tonight due to last night's rainout. Where do they stack up in head to head competition? Troopers came out on top of the group. Pacific Crest led the West Coast corps. Vanguard Cadets and Blue Devils B are used to season-long battles. It looked like Blue Devils B had a big lead early but that lead evaporated last night. What happens next? Blue Devils B put up a whopping 2.850 point improvement night over night while Vanguard Cadets saw its score go up 1.800. The Battalion and Columbians will compete for the final time of the season. Where will they max out? The Battalion's top score on the season was 59.100, good for #28 as of today. Last year, the corps' top score was 49.800. Columbians finished the season at 57.100 in #31, the same as their top score last year although the corps scored slightly higher (57.300) the day before. Tonight's storylines: Just one show tonight Three corps finish their seasons tonight (Blue Devils C, Golden Empire, Watchmen). Where will they max out? 2016 Carolina Crown saw the largest point increase (4.375) with River City Rhythm decreasing most (-1.700). Carolina Crown's improvement was matched in the rankings as it moved from #6 to #2 and the corps nearly beat Bluecoats, losing by a margin of 0.175. Gold moved up the most on the night, 5 spots from #33 to #28. Comparison Remarkably, the competition at the top keeps on getting tighter. Less than 2 points separate #1-#4 and all 4 corps have been on top of the rankings for at least one day. Blue Devils are the only undefeated corps. They are yet to face Carolina Crown head to head. The spread from #1 to #12 is also the closest it has been in at least three years with only 8.600 separating Blue Devils and Madison Scouts. All eyes now turn to July 18 when 8 of the top 9 corps meet with a random performance order that puts Blue Devils on first followed by Santa Clara Vanguard.
  7. July 14, 2017 vs. July 15, 2016 2017 One show was rained out. Impulse put up the largest improvement by far with an increase of 5.950 over its last performance on July 2. Music City continue its yo-yoing back and forth with a -1.500. The corps has had only one show where its score did not go up or down by more than 1 point. Spirit of Atlanta moved up in the rankings the most from #20 to #16 while Incognito moved down furthest from #38 to #42. Santa Clara Vanguard's 1.300 score increase was enough to put the corps in 1st place for the first time this season. There have now been 4 corps in 1st place in the rankings (Bluecoats, Blue Devils, Carolina Crown, Santa Clara Vanguard). Vanguard Cadets made a big gain on Blue Devils B and now trail the Open Class leaders by only 0.300. Storylines from last night: Louisiana Stars and Southwind debut in Alabama. Where will they stack up in Open Class? Southwind debuted #30 and Louisiana Stars at #32. The final two corps will debut on 7/17 (Les Stentors) and 7/20 (Guardians). Carolina Crown has not competed since July 8. That day they were ranked #1. Where will they be tonight? Carolina Crown put up a 1.600 score increase moving them into the #3 spot, keeping in mind that neither the #2 or #4 corps (Blue Devils, Bluecoats) competed. Storylines for tonight: The top 22 corps are all in action and 36 of the 44 corps that have already competed will be performing tonight in total making today the biggest day of competition so far this season. Bluecoats and Blue Devils are head to head for the first time this season. The last time the corps met, Bluecoats won their first world championship. Blue Devils enter the competition undefeated. The two corps have three common opponents this year (credit to ascendperformingarts.org) with both corps beating The Academy and Phantom Regiment in all matchups. Blue Devils are 4-0 over Santa Clara Vanguard while Bluecoats lost to Santa Clara Vanguard in one of their two matchups. Prior to last night Carolina Crown had been beating Boston Crusaders by an average margin of 4.31. Last night, the margin was 1.95. Will Boston Crusaders close the gap even further? The Cavaliers have gradually increased its lead over The Cadets. The Cadets are head to head with Phantom Regiment for the first time this season with a 1.300 margin in the rankings. The two corps have a comparable record against common opponents. Is this a battle for the #7 or #8 spot? Troopers get into the mix with Oregon Crusaders, Pacific Crest, and Seattle Cascades for the first time tonight due to last night's rainout. Where do they stack up in head to head competition? Vanguard Cadets and Blue Devils B are used to season-long battles. It looked like Blue Devils B had a big lead early but that lead evaporated last night. What happens next? The Battalion and Columbians will compete for the final time of the season. Where will they max out? 2016 Southwind and Louisiana Stars debuted at #38 and #32 respectively. River City Rhythm led a group of 6 corps with score improvements of 3.000 or more with 7.300. Impulse declined 1.05. On the placement side, River City Rhythm moved up 6 spots from #40 to #34 while Impulse fell 5 spots from #37 to #42. Comparison I'll do a much deeper analysis tomorrow after we get the big Saturday results. Parity is much higher this year than last year at this point in the season with less than 3 points separating the top 6 corps. Last year only the top 3 corps were within 3 points at this time. This year's 12th place corps is the same distance from #1 as last year's 8th place corps.
  8. July 13, 2017 vs. July 14, 2017 2017 There were no shows last night. Storylines for tonight: Louisiana Stars and Southwind debut in Alabama. Where will they stack up in Open Class? Carolina Crown has not competed since July 8. That day they were ranked #1. Where will they be tonight? 2016 Mandarins (3.20) and Pacific Crest (3.00) improved the most in score. Colts was the only corps to decrease (-0.20). As you can see from the color coding, there was a bit of a difference in score trends across the two shows. Often, that results in a correction within a day or two.
  9. July 12, 2017 vs. July 13, 2016 2017 Music City increased in score the most (3.300) while Jersey Surf decreased the most (-1.200). The big story is Boston Crusaders over The Cadets, which leads to a question of whether there has been a shift in the number of corps in contention for the gold medal. I contended that at least the top 4 and possibly the top 6 were there less than a week ago. Now there appears to be some space between #5 (The Cavaliers) and #6-#7 (Boston Crusaders / The Cadets). Last night's storylines: The Cavaliers, The Cadets, and Boston Crusaders are head to head again for the fourth time in a week. In each of the past meetings, the placement has remained the same with Boston Crusaders gaining on The Cadets. Will that continue tonight? Boston Crusaders defeated The Cadets in head to head competition for the first time since 1980 to move up into the #6 spot. The two corps will not face each other again until July 22. Legends have closed the gap on Music City and look to move up into the Open Class bronze medal spot. Music City put up a huge increase which reversed the decrease from July 9 and then some and put some space ahead of Legends. There are no shows tonight. 2016 There was only one show due to a rainout with no score increases/decreases greater than 2.00 points. Santa Clara Vanguard moved into the #4 spot over Carolina Crown. Comparison If the season ended today, Boston Crusaders would have the story of the year in terms of improvement by moving from #12 to #6. In the Lucas Oil Stadium Era (2009-present), no 12th place corps has improved by more than 3 spots year over year (Blue Stars, 2013-14).
  10. July 11, 2017 vs. July 12, 2016 2017 Pacific Crest put up the biggest score increase (2.500) which gave them a three place jump from #20 to #17. No corps decreased in score. Bluecoats had the smallest increase of the night at 0.350. Last night's storylines: In separate shows, Blue Devils posted the higher score over Bluecoats. Carolina Crown has not competed since July 8. Blue Stars continued to open space between them and Crossmen behind them, improving by 1.500 with Crossmen improving by 1.150 in head to head competition. In their first head to head competition with Seattle Cascades Oregon Crusaders, Pacific Crest made a statement by not only beating the Cascades by 1.900 points after being just 0.500 ahead in non-head to head ranking but by surpassing Oregon Crusaders as well. Columbians extended its lead on The Battalion. Tonight's storylines: The Cavaliers, The Cadets, and Boston Crusaders are head to head again for the fourth time in a week. In each of the past meetings, the placement has remained the same with Boston Crusaders gaining on The Cadets. Will that continue tonight? Legends have closed the gap on Music City and look to move up into the Open Class bronze medal spot. 2016 Colts improved by 3.75 points. The only corps to decrease in score was Colt Cadets (-0.30). Legends saw the largest change in placement with an increase of 3 spots from #28 to #25.
  11. July 10, 2017 vs. July 11, 2016 2017 Just two shows and no movement among corps that were head to head. The biggest score increase went to Oregon Crusaders (2.250) with no decreases although Blue Devils stayed exactly even with their previous score. Last night's storylines: The trend continued in Florida with the #5 corps (The Cavaliers) and the #7 corps (Boston Crusaders) increasing their scores by a greater amount than the #6 corps (The Cadets). On 7/7, The Cadets trailed The Cavaliers by just 0.20; now it is 1.950. Boston Crusaders trailed The Cadets by 2.25; now it is 0.80. #27-#29 stayed the same in terms of placement and Jersey Surf's improvement moved it up ahead of this group a little further. Tonight's storylines: Although they are in separate shows, Bluecoats and Blue Devils are marching towards their first head to head matchup on July 15. With Carolina Crown off tonight, which corps will post the higher score? Blue Stars and Crossmen continue their battle tonight. Blue Stars have the momentum, having won the last three contests by an increasing margin from 0.100 to 0.550. Pacific Crest and Seattle Cascades are head to head for the first time and currently ranked #20 and #21 with just 0.500 separating the two. Columbians and The Battalion are head to head again with Columbians holding a 2-1 lead in the matchup but only a 0.200 margin of victory last night. 2016 Bluecoats put up the biggest increase (2.25) and several corps decreased, Colt Cadets by the most (-1.65). There was a clear delineation among the three competitions in terms of where corps mostly went up and where they mostly went down so it will be important to watch the next several days to see how things do or do not adjust back. With the top 4 corps in competition, Blue Devils and Bluecoats tightened up and opened up a little space between them and those corps i the 3-6 range. Comparison Not really anything new to say since yesterday.
  12. July 9, 2017 vs. July 10, 2016 2017 All corps in the California show saw a decrease in score while only one corps in another show (Music City) decreased. Shadow put up the largest score increase (2.20) and moved up in the rankings the furthest (#41 to #39). Blue Devils C decreased the furthest in ranking (#38 to #41). These changes may be directly related to the fact that scores at one show went down. Bluecoats and Santa Clara Vanguard were the only two of the Top 6 in action. Both corps put up score increases, but Bluecoats' increase of 1.700 was enough to move up into #3. The top 4 are all now in the 81.00-81.90 range. Last night's storylines: Legends significantly closed the gap to Music City over the two corps' head to head matchup on July 7. With over 5 points separating these two from Vanguard Cadets, there seems to be some separation from the top 2 to the next grouping. Blue Stars slightly extended its lead over Crossmen improving by 0.875 over Crossmen's 0.850. Blue Devils B passed Pacific Crest with a 0.250 margin of victory. Tonight's storylines: In Florida, the #5-#7 corps will be head to head. There has been consistent placement among the three corps. In the last two head to head to head matchups, The Cavaliers and Boston Crusaders put up larger score increases than The Cadets. Will that trend continue? If it does, will Boston Crusaders enter into the Top 6 discussion? In Washington, the #27-#29 corps will be head to head with less than a week to go in the competitive season for all three corps. Golden Empire holds the advantage but Columbians and The Battalion have a higher growth trend. Can one of these score high enough to rise above Jersey Surf in the rankings before their seasons close? Open Class debuts remaining: Louisiana Stars - 7/14, Southwind - 7/15, Les Stentors - 7/17, Guardians - 7/20 2016 There was only one show. Shadow made its debut at #35. Genesis put up the largest increase in both score (5.45) and ranking (#33 to #26) with no corps decreasing in score. After being the only World Class corps not in competition the previous day, Madison Scouts gained four spots in the rankings to move to #8. Comparison Not much has changed from yesterday's analysis except that the top is even tighter now with only 0.900 separating #1 and #4. That margin was 3.55 last year.
  13. July 8, 2017 vs. July 9, 2016 2017 Heat Wave made its season debut at #36. Corps in the Sacramento show put up big score increases ranging from 2.700 (Pacific Crest) to 8.100 (Blue Devils B). None of the corps had competed since at least July 2 with a few going back to June 25. Outside of that, The Cavaliers saw the biggest short-term jump, going up 2.950 points night over night. Six corps saw their scores go down, all but one of those corps in the Minnesota show. Pioneer had the largest decline (-1.675). On the placement side, most corps saw a change in ranking. The largest improvements in position went to Vanguard Cadets (#26 to #20) and Watchmen (#35 to #29) while the largest decrease went to Pioneer (#28 to #33). All of that aside, the biggest story of the night is that Santa Clara Vanguard beat Bluecoats head to head, leaving only Blue Devils on the undefeated list. Each corps has taken one of the matchups. They will not see each other again until July 18 in Broken Arrow. The last time Santa Clara Vanguard defeated Bluecoats head to head was on July 14, 2014. Other topics I suggested watching: In the 8-15 range in Minnesota, Blue Stars extended their season record against Crossmen to 3-1 with the largest margin of victory at 0.525 points. Blue Stars were 1.525 behind Phantom Regiment. In Florida, The Cadets put up a big increase in score, but the corps just ahead (The Cavaliers) and behind (Boston Crusaders) had even bigger improvements. The Cavaliers are now 3-0 in the season matchup with The Cadets who are 3-0 in their matchup with Boston Crusaders. All three corps are back in action on July 10 in Jupiter. There are three shows tonight. Story lines to watch: Music City is the highest ranked corps that did not compete on July 8. Its matchup with Legends tonight should give a sense of relative standing near the top of the non-BDB/Vanguard Cadets Open Class corps. Can Crossmen narrow the gap with Blue Stars or will Blue Stars continue to extend its advantage? Can Blue Devils B beat Pacific Crest after falling by just a .050 margin last night? Open Class debuts remaining: Louisiana Stars - 7/14, Southwind - 7/15, Les Stentors - 7/17, Guardians - 7/20 2016 Heat Wave made its season debut at #40. With all World Class corps except Madison Scouts in competition, we got a good look at where the top 12 was going. All eventual top 12 corps finished within two places of their ranking on the second Saturday of July. All corps in the top 11 were within one place. Colt Cadets put up the biggest score increase (5.05) while Phantom Regiment was the only corps to decrease (-0.85). Colt Cadets also improved the most in ranking (#37 to #32) while Spartans dropped the furthest (#21 to #25). Comparison Scores are higher in 2017 with four corps over 80 (compared to one) and 13 corps over 70 (compared to 10). Scores are also tighter with a tie for #1 and #3 and #4 both less than two points away (compared to 3.5+ points). If we apply the statistical analysis from 2016 to 2017 for argument's sake that all finalist corps were within two places of their final ranking, then: There is a three way battle for the gold medal (Blue Devils, Carolina Crown, Santa Clara Vanguard). Given the 0.100 margin of victory last night, it seems likely that there is actually at least a four corps battle going on. Boston Crusaders would finish in the 5-9 range, a marked improvement over 2016. Mandarins is in the hunt for a finalist spot with Crossmen, Madison Scouts and The Academy. Based on head to head competition between Crossmen and Blue Stars so far this season, it seems most likely that its the Madison Scouts spot that is most vulnerable. They will not be head to head with Mandarins until July 20 in Belton. They bested The Academy by 2.025 in Minnesota. If the season ended today, the corps making the biggest improvement year over year would be Mandarins (#17 to #12) and Boston Crusaders (#12 to #7).
  14. July 7, 2017 vs. July 8, 2016 2017 Oregon Crusaders and Cascades made their season debuts at #19 and #20 respectively. All World Class corps have now had at least one show. In Open Class, The Battalion and Columbians competed for the first time. They stand at #29 and #31 respectively. Both corps are doing one week of competitive touring with final competitions scheduled for July 15. Notable answers we got from July 7 shows: In head to head competition for the first time since the season premiere on June 22, The Cavaliers edged The Cadets by 0.20 points. This is a tighter margin that the corps' last meeting when The Cavaliers led by 1.850. The two corps will compete head to head at least once every three days for the rest of the season. Meeting for the first time this season, Bluecoats bested Santa Clara Vanguard by 0.70. They will be back in head to head competition on July 8. The Academy come out on top in head to head competition with Troopers for the first time with a margin of 1.60 points. Out on their own in terms of the top 6, Blue Devils came back to competition after four full rehearsal days with a 3.85 point increase moving them from #4 to #1. Blue Devils and Bluecoats face off for the first time in one week on July 15 in Denver. Santa Clara Vanguard also increased by more than 3 points (3.30), good for a move from #6 to #4. The only corps to decrease in score was Pioneer (-1.00), which fell from #24 to #28. Things to watch in a busy four-show Saturday, which will see all World Class corps in competition on the same night for the first time this season: Vanguard Cadets, Blue Devils B and C return to competition for the first time since June 25. There's some real action in the 8-15 range in Minnesota as Phantom Regiment, Crossmen, Blue Stars, Madison Scouts, The Academy and Troopers compete in the same show. Attention should be on the back-and-forth battle between Blue Stars and Crossmen and how they both stack up against Phantom Regiment. The Florida show packs a punch with four of the current top 7. The Cadets closed the gap on The Cavaliers significantly. Will The Cavaliers respond decisively or might The Cadets pass them? Open Class debuts remaining: Heat Wave - 7/8, Louisiana Stars - 7/14, Southwind - 7/15, Les Stentors - 7/17, Guardians - 7/20 2016 Blue Devils B and Vanguard Cadets returned from a long break with score increases of 4.05 and 3.80 respectively. Legends also put up a 3.00+ increase (3.50) in their first competition since July 2. A large number of corps decreased in score. Watchmen the led the way in this area (-4.55) followed by Mandarins (-3.20) and Incognito (-2.40), all at the same show. Spirit of Atlanta made its debut at #16. Comparison Heading into the first Saturday with all World Class corps active, we see a lot of similarities between 2017 and 2016. Blue Devils and Bluecoats are #1 and #2 with a much closer margin this year (0.65) than last year (1.50). This year, the top 4 are all within 1.35 points while last year there was some separation between the top 2 and the next group. In 2017, the 6th place corps (The Cadets) is closer to #1 (3.25) than the 3rd place corps (The Cadets) was in 2016 (3.50). Last year, all eventual top 12 corps finished within two places of their ranking on the second Saturday of July. All corps in the top 11 were within one place. So while we may not be able to fully compare scores across shows, we can do a pretty good job of it. Tonight's results will give us a pretty good sense of where things are headed.
  15. July 6, 2017 vs. July 7, 2016 2017 Shadow made its season debut at #34. Madison Scouts continue to stay very close to Blue Stars. No significant placement changes or real surprises here. Attention can turn to July 7 when the remaining two World Class corps and two additional Open Class corps make their debuts and we'll have lots of corps in action. The Cavaliers and The Cadets will be head to head for the first time since the season premiere on June 22. Bluecoats and Santa Clara Vanguard will be head to head for the first time. The Academy and Troopers will also be head to head for the first time. World Class debuts remaining: Cascades - 7/7, Oregon Crusaders - 7/7 Open Class debuts remaining: Columbians - 7/7, The Battalion - 7/7, Heat Wave - 7/8, Louisiana Stars - 7/14, Southwind - 7/15, Les Stentors - 7/17, Guardians - 7/20 2016 Columbians and Blue Knights had the only 2.00 or more score increases (4.10 and 2.85 respectively), which corresponded to the greatest increases in placement as well (#13 to #8 for Blue Knights and #26 to #26 for Columbians). Pacific Crest's score decreased by 2.40 with no change in placement. Comparison The most notable thing to me is that Blue Devils and Blue Knights have not competed since July 2 and will be in action on July 7. Last year, this gap in competitive performance at the same time of the season closed with big increases from both corps.